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tv   Lectures in History  CSPAN  November 22, 2014 11:59pm-1:01am EST

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people most likely to vote for looking forstart it, developing a strategy in terms of trying to get at -- get the information that you need. i will say analytics to not provide all of the answers. it is not a crystal ball. but there is a power of some of the analytics we provide combined with the history of intelligence or intelligence on the ground. you should be able to get the answers that you would like to get to. 8 p.m.ay night at eastern on "the communicators" on c-span 2. each week, "reel america" brings you stories.
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>> it set a u.s. and world olympic record. she is sharon stewart of california. this is her third olympic medal. she has beaten out the previous record holder in a cold, of the netherlands. netherlands.of the platform diving. here is the german diver, the heavy favorite. the u.s. diver noses out the champions by a point and a half. in third place behind the american and german, the soviet flag is raised. then the action moves to the stadium for the track event. in the stands, the immortal
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sprinter jesse owens. a heavy favorite, bob hayes. the wind was too risk. the win was disallowed. slow motion reveals the stride grace,as more power than but he brings home the gold medal. no wins. the stars & stripes, another u.s. gold-medal. the u.s. sets and olympic mark for the semifinals for the 100 -- dash. she beats her teammate 200 yards
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as she flies across. yes, the american eagle flies high in tokyo. >> each week american history tv sits in on a lecture with one of the nation's college professors. you can watch the classes every saturday evening at 8:00 p.m. and midnight eastern. next, indiana university professor john bodnar talks about the idea of "sexual freedom" in the 1950's and the beginning of dissent against cold war-era moral values. professor bodnar talked about how america in the 1950's was portrayed as a morally righteous nation, and how virtue was seen as an integral part of patriotism. he lists the publication of the kinsey reports on male and female sexuality, the creation of "playboy," and the development of the birth control pill as factors that promoted a revolt against prevailing cultural norms. this class is a little under an hour. >> good afternoon.
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we have been talking about the cold war and the global dimension of fighting communism and its domestic dimension of promoting certain outlooks and certain values that were seen as indispensable in america's fight against communism in the world. already, thecussed cold war not only had a military component, but it had a moral component, a dimension where if you were to be seen in american society as an ardent cold warrior committed to the fight against communism, then you not only had to be a patriot, willing to do battle -- figuratively and theoretically -- against communism in the world, but you had to live by certain standards to prove your american loyalty and american patriotism.
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interestingly, in the late 1940's and early 1950's, just when this alliance was getting off the ground, this alliance between the political fight in the world and the need for moral rearmament domestically in our country, just as that was emerging, we saw the beginning of a fracture, a division, we -- or even some sentiments of dissent in american culture and society. a wave of dissent that began to question the moral values that were seen as essential to the larger project to fight the cold war. and today, i want to talk about the beginning of that dissent. it won't be a full-scale rebellion yet, against the cold
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war or these traditional values that were so important to the mindset of americans during the cold war, but it will represent the beginning of a wave that will end it will explode in a much more determined fashion in the 1960's, but that is something we will address at a later time. and you will notice today, when we talk about the beginnings of this wave of dissent against the traditional values that were foundational for cold war america, you will see that this wave of dissent or this sense of rebellion is not coming from teenagers or suddenly energized by new music and rock 'n roll and teenage rebellion, but actually before all of that
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happening, this wave of dissent is not coming from kids. it is coming from adults. we will be talking about it, looking at those adults and what they had to say and how they began to challenge the whole structure of traditional values that were promoted so widely during the cold war, the early years of the cold war itself. so, we will be looking at the impact of the kinsey reports, authored by an indiana university professional biologist, alfred kinsey. we will be looking at the work done to promote the work of the birth control pill in the 1950's. we will be looking at the impact hugh hefner made with "playboy" magazine. we will look at the popularity of the beats, who were starting
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to attract a sizable audience. we will look at the messages women were given who were expected to live their lives as a housewife mostly from popular media and a little bit about how consumer desires was beginning to alter the perception that women's place was simply to be in the home. certainly if there is any traditional value at the center of the set of cold war values, it was the celebration of the traditional marriage, father and mother, father working, the mother at home, domesticity. after worlderuption
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war i was in part a response to the frenetic pace of the war itself. people were uprooted from their homes. there was turmoil and there was a general desire to slow down and retreat to a world dominated by traditional roles and traditional expectations. so, marriage rates rise after world war ii. we have noted that. church attendance rises, increases. religion, formal church membership and religion is attracting more people. and of course it goes without saying there is a constant preaching and promotion of patriotic values and loyalty to america, because that goes very definitely to the issue of being loyal to the effort to fight the cold war, and proving that, you cannot be suspected of spying or being sympathetic to any communist ideology.
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postwar dreams were articulated, as you know, in magazines. that particular portrait of, i guess, a happy couple. we do not know how happy they may be. but it suggests the desirability of marriage, traditional roles, female wife, mother at home. and this was not only the time of increased marriage, but the time of the baby boom. this is a part of the world that america feels it is defending against godless communism, the world of stable families, traditional roles. in the 1940's, americans begin to marry at higher rates than before. marriage rates in the 1930's
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were lower and slower. hard times made it difficult for many young couples to even contemplate moving out on their own and starting a family. the economy was somewhat precarious in that regard. more americans than ever got married in the 1950's and at a younger age. the average age for a woman to get married in the 1950's was just about 20, whereas in 1930, it was a year older. and when they get married earlier, they had children earlier. this is one of the reasons driving the baby-boom itself. and you can see the fertility rates, the number of women per 1000 having children, from 1930 to 1957, there is a substantial increase. so all of the statistics there
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bear out what the promotion of values suggests, and that is marriage and parenthood are part of this value system. and we have already said church attendance is increasing substantially. that is part of the mindset. we have to fight this battle of communism in the world. we could be destroyed any minute by some atomic nuclear exchange. so, finding peace in this time is very much tied to this adherence to values and religion becomes very entwined, as you know, with patriotic belief. if you're going to be a good american or if you're going to be a good christian, as billy graham said in 1950, you also have to be a good american.
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but all of a sudden in the middle of this celebration of traditional values -- religion and family and heterosexuality and patriotism, etc. -- and this growing consensus and this effort to bring americans together under this set of ideals, we get the beginning of challenges to this perception and this identity that americans are a people who believe in god, who believe in traditional values, and are ready to take on the anti-communist crusade. interestingly, the first shot fired in this early wave of dissent or challenge to these values comes from a biologist at
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indiana university-bloomington, alfred kennedy -- alfred kinsey. kinsey, whose books, sexual behavior in the human male and sexual behavior in the human female are sort of earthshaking in terms of the impact they have on american society and culture. why? because kinsey's data from his research showed that while americans talked about adhering to traditional gender roles, sexual roles, containing sex within marriage, heterosexuality, in fact his data show that americans were not practicing what they were preaching. now people challenged kinsey's data. he is a scientist. he was rendering what he thought were results from his research team. his research was going out all of the country. chicago, new york, the midwest, etc.
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talking to people with all kinds of sexual orientations. he reports the data and he says in 1948, 67% of american men are having sexual intercourse before marriage. maybe that is true. maybe it is not entirely accurate. but it challenge the public perception that americans were virtuous people living by traditional values as the way they guided their life, and this was tied to the sense of who they were as they fought communism. if in fact, you have people who are not adhering to that in some way, then maybe they are not adhering to the fight against communism itself. 37% of the men, he reported, had homosexual encounters. this was hugely controversial in 1948.
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everybody is picking up on what kinsey said. this guy, they say that he is going to destroy the moral fabric of the country. he is obviously going to evoke substantial criticism. because in part, people do not want to hear or are reluctant to accept what he sees as reality what they see as a distortion. because it distorts what the cold war says and thinks about who americans are. if the book on human male sexual practices was controversial, it was even more controversial to come out with his book in 1953, and the data in 1953 about the practices of american women. because american women were perceived to be or expected to be virtuous. contained sexual practices to families, marriage, etc. and he is coming up with data showing that have of these women
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women he talked to have sex before marriage -- i'm sorry, a quarter of the women committed adultery after marriage, once married. and there is even more controversy and hostile reaction from the public. from religious leaders, from newspapers, from educators, etc. so, kinsey is beginning to sort of make a crack within the structure of cold war america. this delicate balance between political anti-communism and cultural, moral, traditional values. and he is not coming out and he is probably not thinking he is critiquing the cold war, but he is thinking about the structure
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of the identity of who we were and why we were fighting the cold war, which was partly to reserve these values. he is basically saying not all americans are adhering, and that is why it is so controversial. kinsey began his thinking about marriage and sexuality in the 1930's. he started a marriage course at indiana university. meetings. they had separate meetings about their histories with kinsey. and in this course -- and by the way, there were many college courses in the 1930's about marriage, etc., but kinsey, more than the others, also delved into sexual practices.
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how did people have sex? when did they have sex? who were their partners? were they homosexual or heterosexual? these were the things that interested him. he brought it into discussion of his marriage class, and of course he proceeded with individual discussions. as you would expect, this was going to create turmoil on the bloomington campus. other professors, administrators, certainly people in the state are more and more questioning what kinsey is doing and trying to do with his marriage course. faculty members are complaining to the president, especially when he talks about issues like homosexuality and masturbation in class. no one did this in the 1930's
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herman wells, the president of indiana university in the 1930's, he said, make a choice. if you want to keep teaching the marriage course, stop the data collecting, or drop the course and just do the research. figuring if he was just doing the research and his critics were not seeing these issues presented in class, he would defuse their criticism. kinsey decided to drop the class in the 1940's. through the 1940's now, kinsey is going to amass this team that will go all over america and talk to people about their sexual histories, going to compile all of this data. all through the gay communities
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in new york, through the midwest. he was devoted obviously to this, for him, the scientific research project. here's a picture of kinsey conducting one of the interviews. but he had other interviews. he did not do all of the interviews himself. that is a photograph of kinsey and herman wells, who continually had to defend academic freedom. wells was always getting pressure from religious authorities, legislators, etc., to put a stop to what was seen as so controversial. wells was an astute politician. when it came time for kinsey to publish his second book in 1953, wells arranged for a publisher who would release in the summer when the state legislature was not in session so it would take them a while to gather their
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forces and come back with criticism. which they did in time, but by that time, the book had been out for a while. kinsey became fascinated with kinsey became fascinated with the play and then the movie -- the play came out in 1947, the movie in 1951 starring marlon brando -- "a streetcar named desire." it was written like tennessee williams, who was gay. the play talks about variations in sexual activity. it was controversial. it was popular. but it was a play about very aggressive sexual behavior. marlon brando who was in the play and the movie.
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in the play, he beats his wife, rapes his sister-in-law. they do not put that in the movie, although they do suggest it. they do have one where he strikes his wife. and interesting topic today, and not one that was talked about much either in the 1940's and 1950's. kinsey is fascinated that women -- williams in this play and movie is exposing these sexual problems or sexual aggression, because it is certainly consistent with kinsey's research which questions the idea and the ideal that americans are all adhering to traditional sexual practices. kinsey goes to the play in new york actually, gets to know tennessee williams, and then he starts to take these sexual histories of all the people in the play. the data at the kinsey center is coded, so you cannot tell, but i
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would presume he has marlon brando. maybe even vivien leigh's sexual there.y and their -- in but you could not be sure if that information could be confirmed. it is true though. he was trying to interview and did interview most everybody who was in the play. are there any questions so far? the reactions to kinsey are predictable. as i said, he is criticized by religious leaders. interestingly, the gallup poll shows to a large extent, about half of the u.s. population approves of what kinsey is doing. his critics are vocal, but in pure, raw sample data, if you will, people are beginning to question traditional values.
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traditional sexual practices. that is what kinsey was saying. americans are doing this anyhow. and the opinion poll suggests there is some sympathy if not a total embrace, even though this was the dominant idea of anti-communism traditional values. people were beginning to question the cold war, not directly -- more about the values wrapped around the cold war ideology. and kinsey's data is sort of nonjudgmental. he is not condemning anyone, whether it is the woman who committed adultery or had a same-sex relationship. he is simply reporting the data and accepting it. but in a sense, acceptance is the beginning of the acceptance of a more diverse outlook in
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terms of sexual practices. we would say that today. he may have not said it exactly the way i just said it, but that was what he was doing. he was challenging what was perceived to be the norm. the norm from which you were not expected to deviate. a cartoon from "the new yorker." the good women in the cartoon from upper montclair, new jersey, suggesting an upper-class setting. aghast at what kinsey had done -- and the one woman is saying "well, i am sure dr. kinsey never spoke to anyone in upper montclair." suggesting that he took his data from less reputable places in the united states, not this virtuous community. margaret sanger was another
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adult who began to bring to bear challenges to the norms of sexual practice. she was a social worker who had worked with poor immigrant women in lower manhattan, new york. she was struck by a number of things -- their impoverished conditions, for sure, but also the number of pregnancies these women had, and how hard the hardship that came with these people living in these conditions, having so many children, all of the health issues that were involved. and really the medical problems of many of these women trying to do their own abortions and causing infections from which many were harmed or killed. so, she continued her social work with a sympathetic view of
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women in marriage, a critical view of the situation where women have little control of the number of children they were having. and so, she began to -- she set up a clinic. to pass out birth-control information. birth-control information was seen as a transgression of obscenity laws. information about birth control was seen as obscene, and therefore they shut the clinic down. over time she kept at it, and eventually she secured financial a philanthropically minded woman, catherine mccormack, married to an industrialist. mccormick provided the necessary or fundamental financing for researchers at boston university
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in massachusetts and developed a pill that could block population ovulation and lead to -- and finally become the birth control pill, which was finally okayed in the 1960's. it would take until the 1970's for the use to spread, but the challenge to the notion that women in marriage had to have children or had no control over the number of children she had, etc., really began obviously early than the 1950's, but the development of the pill, the financing and the ideas come together so that the pill becomes one of the things that is happening in the 1950's, as is kinsey's books, challenging these traditional notions of motherhood, childbearing, domestic relations. and, if you're going to be
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talking about a challenge to marriage and conventional sexual norms in the 1950's, you cannot leave out to hefner. -- hugh hefner. not too far away. no, not indiana. but he probably wished he had because he loved the kinsey report. he was devouring the kinsey report. kinsey was telling him all the things he was thinking anyhow, that you did not have to live your sexual life through the conventions of marriage. and so hefner, as a veteran back from world war ii, as a student at the university of illinois, started his own magazine in college. he called it "shaft." it had a feature called "coed of the month." he is clearly laying out the
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blueprint of what will become eventually, as you all know, "playboy" magazine. he was engrossed with kinsey. he thought kinsey was totally on the right track to explode the conventional perceptions of what sexual behavior should be. although he was a married guy, a vet, he also began to lose interest in his marriage and eventually moved on from that. first issue of "playboy" was 1953. those are some example issues. marilyn monroe was on the cover. there was a picture being widely circulated on a calendar at the time and he bought the rights.
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he did not put a date on the because he didr, not know if there would ever be a second issue. he did not know if he would succeed. they sold 1000 copies of the first issue and from that on it kept building and growing. and "playboy" was one of those places where these challenges to marriage and conventional sexual norms were being expressed and regularly articulated. the first article in "playboy" was about alimony. and how men should be careful about getting married because eventually woman would want to divorce you and take from you the money you have earned. i know that is not any of you guys in class, fear of alimony, but that was what "playboy" was preaching at the time, questioning the viability of
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marriage health. half of the readers were "free men" and the other half were free only in spirit. hefner wrote on the first page they were not a family magazine. he told women who saw the magazine to pass it on to a man and move on to "ladies home companion." that man who does not want to be tied to family responsibilities and fatherhood is the playboy. "playboy" magazine. it is the image. he is interested in pleasure. he is not interested in family roles and responsibilities. he should enjoy consumer goods and sports cars and all of the pleasure that men can have outside of marriage in a consumer society.
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this was part of this wave of change that was challenging conventional values, and interestingly, kinsey, sanger, hefner are all questioning marriage. you could say this is not as rebellious as the 1960's, but it is the beginning of the attack on the entire structure of cold war values and will go down to the kids to will be part of the counterculture in the 1960's. before we have the counterculture, we have these adults who were questioning the conventional moral prescriptions. the beats. the beats were artists, writers, poets. they became very popular in the 1950's, but they, too, were popular because in part they refused to adhere to or to
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conform to traditional values, which is the theme of the entire discussion. they produced poetry, wrote fiction, but it was about people who were moving from place to place, were not settled. it was about people who had a number of different sexual encounters. it was about people who had a critical perspective on america. and to have a critical perspective on america, to say you raised the issue of racism or drug use or homosexuality, that was to run the risk of being seen as un-american, not sufficiently patriotic. we had mccarthyism where people were losing their jobs for not being seen as unpatriotic or not practicing conventional, following conventional sexual morals.
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writers like allen ginsburg, a poet, and jack kerouac, the novelist, were becoming more popular. they are talking about another sort of life in america that was not all that virtuous. they questioned the established authorities of the time, which were mobilizing to fight the communist crusade. that is a picture of jack kerouac. kerouac is on the right, right here. this is his buddy neal cassidy. "on the road" was a sensational bestseller. it is the story of two men traveling across america. they are not fixed to work routines. they are just split up from marriages.
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there is no domestic bliss here. there is a variety of sexual partners. they see poverty and racism. this is not what the true believers of the cold war -- mccarthy for example -- wanted to see and hear in our culture, because it ran against the idea that we were fighting a force in the world -- communism -- that was threatening america and traditional values. s faith in god, it's solid families, it's virtuous people. that is from ginsburg's poem "howl." those are excerpts. you can read them and look at them. i saw the best minds of my
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generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through negro streets -- he is being metaphorical. he is trying to create images. the point is, he is talking about people in america who are adrift, who are drug addicts. there are references to drug addiction and homosexuality. a more disturbing view of america. that is why it was popular for some, but many people would be quite hostile to what kerouac was writing or what ginsburg was writing. in person -- at this stage, he was 15, 16 years old. at the time, he is a young person. he become sort of really tuned in to the literature of the beats like ginsburg and kerouac
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, of course is bob dylan. they are together in greenwich village. there talking a lot. in the 1950's, dylan is reading "howl," "on the road," andes will convert into his albums later in the 1960's, but these ideas are in part being drawn from these writers in the 50's. just as hefner is drawing from kinsey, dylan is drawing from kerouac and ginsburg. these ideas are spreading. we're not yet at the level of the counterculture in the 1960's, but we are questioning the set of traditional values of the cold war.
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well, despite the popularity and the controversy of kinsey and despite the popularity of the beats, etc., if you counted up all of the newsprint that was going to a single subject in 1952, 1953, it probably would add up to christine jorgensen being the most talked about person in america. if you want a story and an example of how an individual advocating nontraditional ways or nontraditional gender roles is making an impact on american culture and society, even if you
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-- maybe even more than kinsey, it is pretty hard to top christine jorgensen. what did christine jorgensen do? do you know? christine jorgensen, like hefner, was a veteran of world war ii. part of the greatest generation. but christine jorgensen decided that he wanted to be a woman and she had a sex change operation and this becomes huge news. this is a veteran back from the war. this is after the operation. and of course there was no greater challenge to be celebration of traditional gender roles than for someone to change their gender completely. kinsey is upsetting the apple cart. sanger is looking for a way to affect marriage, hefner is challenging marriage. jorgenson is more than challenging marriage. she is challenging the very idea of sexual, gender roles itself.
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as i said, christine was born george jorgensen, a gi, served in world war ii. always claimed that his desire to be a woman was very overwhelming, powerful and strong. made huge news in 1952 when he had surgery in denmark. apparently he was the most written about person in the u.s. press in 1953, which reminds of that public opinion poll on kinsey's books where half of the population were sympathetic to opening up the discussion about sexual roles and sexual practices. just look at the interest here in jorgensen's sex change operation. that is substantial. if to the extent that that is
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true, that the most talked about person in 1953 -- and of course, it certainly is a challenge to prescribed roles. gender roles. those are some news clippings, just to give you a flavor or a sample of what people were seeing or reading -- ex-gi becomes blonde beauty. rule christine 100% woman. you can see why this got a lot of attention. it was grabbing attention from a lot of other things grabbing attention, like kinsey and hefner, and you can see this percolating in culture and society which is not simply falling in lockstep behind the anti-communist crusade. and there are other instances
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and examples or suggestions that the attitudes of many americans changing. look at those, for example those points -- single motherhood, increasing significantly. it was more likely between 1940 and 1960 that a woman very child out of wedlock. that always happen, but it was happening in increasing numbers. kinsey had a point. people were practicing in ways that did not acknowledged and not realized. and we see much more discussion and training of physicians in issues of planned parenthood, birth control in the 1950's. it is still controversial. it is not like today.
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it is not birth control anyway you want it. it was not prevalent, etc.. now beingn is disseminated. sanger's project was moving forward in the 1950's. the development of the pill and professionals are being trained at planned parenthood, which was an organization that was started out of the early work of margaret sanger. that is an organization being pushed forward to challenge convention. there is another way to see the slow, but persistent evolution of change in the early 1950's in regard to traditional values, and that is in the polls but the gallup poll organization and
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others took of the time about who the most admired women were in america. usually the most admired man was the president, but the most admired women were women who had careers or women who were working. even though this is an age that had been celebrated as the age of the suburbs, the age of the baby boom, the age of more and more people getting married, etc., when women were asked who they admired most, they admired women who had careers outside the household. almost every year of the 1950's, the most admired woman in america, usually the top of the
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poll, was eleanor roosevelt. franklinhe widow of roosevelt, who died right before the end of world war ii. she was active politically for the rest of her life. she was a delegate to the u.n. in 1946, chair of the united nation's commission on human rights, was part of the committee that drafted the u.n. declaration of human rights. she was an outspoken supporter of liberal causes throughout the 1950's, and it would be fair to say she was something of a liberal political icon in the 1950's. but she wasn't on the most admired list because she was a liberal icon. she was on the most admired list because she was a woman with a highly public career. that is a photograph actually of eleanor roosevelt visiting with herman wells, the president of indiana university. that was here in bloomington in
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1950, right between the publication of kinsey's first book and second book. i do not know if kinsey came out with any reception or celebration for eleanor roosevelt. she was here, emblematic of everywhere she went, of women finding active careers outside traditional marriage. another woman who often appeared on these lists in the 1950's was clare booth luce. you get the idea that women -- even though domestic relationships predominate the
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way most women were living their lives, clare booth luce -- she was married to the owner of "time" magazine. but she is also widely admired because it is a public career. she served in congress, she was a writer, she advocated careers for women. she was a journalist in world war ii. these women are suggesting, as is some of the public opinion polls and the interest in kinsey and christine jorgensen -- that while people may be living under these rubrics of traditional values are thinking quite strongly about and are interested in some, if not all, of the alternatives. and finally, there is the interesting and unpredictable or perhaps unintended
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consequence of this growing s withinor consumer good married families. the point here is this. we know that after world war ii, there was this wave of marriages, pregnancies, births, homebuying, suburbanization, and this consumerism. remember, during the war, americans were only producing war goods. planes, tanks, guns. there were not tv sets, houses, all of that consumer stuff. and during world war ii, people working, but they did not have opportunities to spend the money they made. savings were increasing. they were eager to start buying in the return to consumer production after the end of the war. in this new consumer system
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taking hold after the war, women are getting married. they are getting married earlier, and therefore they are trying to stop or end their child bearing earlier. to end pregnancies and look for other opportunities within their married life. they are not necessarily moving out of their marriages, but they are now increasingly in the 1950's looking for jobs outside their traditional domestic relationship, jobs that will allow them to earn the extra money to buy the televisions that here, the sort of quintessential image of the contented consumerist traditional 1950's family. or cars or furniture for the house.
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so, consumerism, in a sense, is beginning to propel some women out of their traditional domestic lives and into looking for part-time or full-time jobs. there's a steady increase of women working outside the home in the 1950's and that is consistent with what we see. we see in this first decade or more of the cold war and this effort to bring together americans behind the banner of anti-communism, the banner of traditional values, we see an underlying sense of dissent or change or discontent or stepping back from those values. kinsey exposes the fact that we do not practice what we preach. sanger wants to challenge traditional notions of married
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women as simply being mother after mother after mother. hefner wants to challenge marriage completely and celebrate alternative lifestyles for men. people are fascinated by sex change operations, starting to leave the home for consumer goods. women are widely admiring other women who work outside the home. while the overlay of the cold war 1950's is grounded in patriotism, heterosexuality, traditional values, religion, marriage, motherhood, and fatherhood, the underlay, the undercurrent is going in a slightly different direction, and as you will see as we move in the weeks ahead, this sort of crack in the cold war edifice begins with challenging and changing perspectives of sexual behavior. eventually it will become more political.
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eventually it will deal with more racial issues and eventually it will explode in the 1960's. but the seedbed of the counterculture of the 1960's which totally challenges the cold war can be quite seen quite clearly in the early efforts of these dissenters from traditional sexual and cultural values in the 1940's and 1950's. that is our lecture today. i thank you all for attending. are there any questions before we finish? ok. see you next week. thank you. >> join us every saturday evening at 8 p.m. and midnight eastern for classroom lectures from across the country.
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lectures are also available as a podcast. visit our website --, or download them from itunes. >> this year c-span is touring cities across the country. next, our recent visit to madison, wisconsin. you're watching american history tv. all weekend, every weekend on c-span 3. >> today we are on the campus of the university of wisconsin-madison in front of lathrop hall where 100 years ago last month in 1914 the society of american indians met at their fourth annual meeting. it was the first secular
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indian-led american indian society. there were professional people, lawyers, members of the bureau of indian affairs. 52 of them gathered together in wisconsin to set the agenda for the future to shape congressional policy. what was happening at the time for american indian people was the reservation system was appearing to be a failure to many different interested parties. indian people were poor, undereducated, had been losing vast quantities of land, their tribal economies were in bad shape, and the feeling around the country was it was time for a change in indian policy. the specific items on their agenda were, one, to get citizenship for indian people. they would become citizens in
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1924. in they were wards of the united 1914, states government, not citizens. by 1914, there was a good 100 year backlog of complaints indian people had about the failure of the treaty relationship, so the one of the the court ofd claims open to them so they could litigate their claims against the united states government. they would assemble what they called a memorial and actually present it the president of the united states, woodrow wilson at the time, in december 1914. woodrow wilson did not have indians high on his political agenda, though he indicated he would take the matter very seriously. it was not until 1924, 10 years after this meeting, that american indian people would finally get --
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-- their citizenship. so, the people who came to this particular meeting were really the first generation of rather prominent indian national figures, perhaps -- prominent indian national figures. perhaps the most prominent was henry -- cloud. he would help right the marriott report. this would have a big impact in the roosevelt administration, and he was the scholarship behind the indian new deal. another was laura cornelius, an activist from the oneida people here in wisconsin. wheelock,s dennison who was a lawyer and activist working on behalf of of indian rights. carlos montezuma was a member of the society of american indians. an author, a physician. so was charles eastman who had written a number of books. he was also a physician. all of these people had tribal affiliations. when you read the minutes of the
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meeting, you can see the characteristic intertribal teasing that goes on between indian people. they were identifying with their tribes, but they were working out this idea of the unique contribution of the indian race, as they put it. just remember in 1909 the naacp had been formed. we get a sense of conceptual continuity, especially with the idea of race. the society would sexualize over --section allies sectionalize over two issues and the course of the late teens and into the early 20's. one was the role the bureau of indian affairs could have. there were a number of employees in the bureau of indian affairs and there were a number of people in this society who did not think the bureau had a place in the society. they also factionalized over
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peyote, the native american church. the society debated this and was on both sides of the issue. ultimately what would happen in the 1920's, the society would dissipate over these issues of conflict, so in 1928, they had their last meeting in chicago. the society would leave the last theead to the formation of national consul of the american theans and subsequently national congress of american indians, which still operates today. i think it is important to take recognition of the anniversary of the conference that took place during the campus of the university of wisconsin-madison, because it seems that this conference at the time started a relationship between the university and the tribes of wisconsin. shortly after this conference, the university began to reach out to the american indian communities in the state of wisconsin, sending researchers and personnel and again a
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-- and we get the beginnings of a research relationship. and i think it is time that we looked back on that 100-year history and look forward to the next 100-year relationship. >> throughout the weekend, american history tv is featuring madison, wisconsin. visited tour staff learn more about its rich history. learn more about madison another /localat content. you're watching american history tv. all weekend, every weekend on c-span 3.


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